Pages

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Bit of a Sticky Wicket, What?



Last year, I kept running into my neighbor (one of the Gravel Barons) and his wife.  They oozed....friendliness.  Or their version of it.  I was all the Polite Ice Queen (or my version of it).  On one particular accidental meeting (I believe it was at the farm that sells the BEST SWEET CORN EVER), he says to me, "You know, Sue, if you ever need gravel, stone or anything like that, well you just tell me because I am your neighbor and I believe in being a good neighbor and I will just give you some out of friendship because I am a good neighbor and I want everyone in the local universe to know what a fine, outstanding fellow I am....Okay, I did add that last part.  I thought I would call his bluff - "As a matter of fact, neighbor of mine, I DO need a BUNCH of gravel for my driveway and a big, BIG apron of stone."  He only blinked a little and promised to stop by and take a look.

That was nearly a year ago.  I sniggered snidely (redundant?) to myself every time his gravel truck drove past the house.  "Oh, sure.  FINE neighbor and all that rot."  Or words to that effect.  I will add here that, as a gravel baron goes, he always drives slowly past the house and sticks to the allowed hours.

A week ago, Saturday, a giant 4x4 flame red pickup with big black flames painted down the sides pulled into the driveway.  Holey Cow, I thought.  Who the heck is THIS?  It was the Gravel Baron and Baroness.  It was, turns out, the Baroness' truck.  It is the local badge of royalty to have a bigger, better-painted, redder pickup than anyone else.

"We've come to see where you want the gravel, " he sez.  I blink.  Oh.  So I let my arms sweep in a BIG wide movement and say, "I want everything covered in gravel."  Not really.  "I want all THIS covered in gravel." 

There then ensued a conversation about types of stone and the need to put down a weed/grass barrier.  Here it comes, I thought.  The Baroness chips in, describing the correct cover and how to put it down.  The Baron says they will have to dig up the sod.  I'm starting to fidget. 

"Git yerself a can of spray paint and paint where you want it to go," sez he.  "I'll give you a couple of days' notice."  And with that, they roar off.

I'm now starting to thaw at the thought of my new best ever neighbors.  Then, two days ago, he rumbles (fast) past the house, kicking up a cloud of dust, a full half hour before allowed start time.  Then, this morning, he does it again.  I may be a paranoid nutcase, but I think HE thinks that I will not call him on it because he is going to dump a big pile of free stone on my driveway (and dig the sod, put down the weed barrier, smooth the stones...)  I was highly agitated, as I felt that I had just sold my soul to the devil and was now between a pile of gravel and a hard place.  Then I sucked it up, pulled up my BGPs and called him on it.  Literally.  No one answered, but I left a polite message to the effect that I was surprised to see him go so fast down the road at such an early hour, regulated starting times and all.  I hoped there wasn't an emergency.  I hoped he and the Baroness were okay.  I bade him Have a Nice Day.  It was downright treacly.  We'll see if I can have my gravel and drive on it, too.

22 comments:

  1. i hate to be beholden to anyone. i hope you get your stone! good for you to call him on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jaz - He practically crept past the house this morning, a good half hour AFTER official opening time. I cannot stand being beholden to anyone. I will have to devise some way to pay him back. Maybe a lifetime supply of eggs??

      Delete
    2. Eggs and cookies. The way to a man's heart and all that....

      Delete
  2. We have stone trucks barrel past our house all the time. One day my son was turning in, and a truck almost rear-ended him. I was watching from the kitchen. Son flipped him off of course, and the driver came back! I flew out and scolded the driver expecting to call the Sheriff. He blamed it on my son's brake lights no working. They worked fine. I did have a baseball bat by the door just in case too. It's the next best thing to a shotgun or pepper spray. I let the man have it! It never happened by that color of stone truck again, but other ones barrel past here all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristina - I don't like being beholden, or being afraid of retribution. I can take anything they hand out - but I am afraid they will take it out on the livestock. That would turn me into front page news.

      Delete
  3. I don't think I've ever seen a sticky-wicket.....but I do believe you are in one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn - I haven't either, but I bet it is darn uncomfortable...

      Delete
  4. Oh boy. Do let us hear how this one turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just adore you. If this works, PLEASE come visit MY neighbor with the ceaselessly barking dog. I cannot muster up ONE iota of civility. I need a class act like you.
    And if you DO get that gravel (free), we want a Wordless Wednesday PICTURE of that driveway.
    Jolly good!
    :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue - I have tried everything from threats (reporting to DEC - not this particular GB, but the idiot next to me), to putting signs out on the front lawn (this particular GB's son was the idjut that stole the first one). I try to channel my best Bette Davis when I leave those treacly messages. It's really sort of spooky. Do you have a dog warden?

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately-no.
      I always wish everyone with a dog loved them like you love yours.
      It's sickening listening to it bark for 7 or 8 hours STRAIGHT while SHE is at work.You can hear it in the house with all the windows closed--and they are 1/4 mile away. We've tried the sheriff, we've tried just about everything. I will be insane if it goes on much longer......................................

      Delete
  6. Sticky wicket is a metaphor used to describe a difficult circumstance. It originated as a term for difficult circumstances in the sport of cricket, caused by a damp and soft pitch. The Pitch is the field the game is played on and if it is wet or damp the ball bounces unpredictably...somewhat like your "Best Neighbor ever"! You handled the situation perfectly but your also right about being beholden. It is not something I like either. Humnnn is your yard big enough to play cricket on? Good luck with your gravel adventures and keep us posted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fiona - I knew it had to do with cricket but I didn't realize that the playing field is the wicket! Learned something new!!!! No, my yard would make a sticky wicket, indeed...

      Delete
  7. Ah, yes, m'dear, you have found yourself with a fine line to walk. Personally, I wouldn't accept the offer of the gravel from him given the fact that methinks he has ulterior motives! I think you hit the nail smack on the head when he figured you wouldn't call him on his "improprierties" if you were beholding to him. Call me cynical, but I think that was his intent all along. Hrumpf. Why do people have to be that way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mama Pea - Yes, it seems as if what I feared would happen, has. Of course, he has not delivered the goods yet, either. He gives gravel to all the 'neighbors' apparently. I do intend to pay him for some of it, as I can't be that beholden and live with myself. The other end of the wicket that sticks, is that I am able to get (for free!) a garage structure - but it's a limited time offer. And it needs to be placed on a gravel base so that my car doesn't rust like a bucket. Oy.

      Delete
  8. You could always tell him you changed your mind :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy - Yes, I could. Although I am into it pretty deep by now...

      Delete
  9. You had me chuckling at the end; I hope so, too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting scenario. A year later you say???

    ReplyDelete
  11. Susan,

    My dear, don't let this man or his wife cause you any problems or intimidate you.
    Keep standing your ground........

    Can DOT do anything for you?

    I've put my money on you Susan......You'll get your gravel!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You'll get your gravel but at what cost? Too bad there isn't a Good Neighbor contract you can make him sign to make sure he doesn't ask for "paybacks".

    ReplyDelete